From Corporate Arena to Business Owner
Pauline is an immigrant from Jamaica and a graduate of Micro Teachers College in the disciplines of Social Science and Physical Education. Upon her arrival in Canada she immediately pursued her degree in Business Administration, minoring in Political Science and Psychology, which she attained while married, working fulltime with 2 children and caring for her mother. Later on she pursued and successfully completed her Masters in Project Management at York University Schulich School of Business.
Christian is one of the few African Canadian sisters, who have made it to the position of Associate Director at one of Canada’s large corporations. Pauline rising to the rank of Directorship was not an easy journey, as anyone who understands the dynamics of climbing the ladder of big corporations, would imagine. Big corporations tend to succumb to the challenges to have accurate representation of visible minority present at each layer of leadership. However, as a result of Pauline’s steadfastness, perseverance, determination, tenacity, mentee/mentor strategy, vision/passion for greatness and deep sense of spirituality and purpose, support of family and friends, she was able to beat the odds and represented the Black sisters and the Black community very well within the corporate arena.
Her impact in corporate Canada has been significant, her leadership model in improving performance of her staff is mind boggling as she has the ability to motivate and mobilize the most challenging staff and bring them to a place of extraordinary success. Her successful management style has had direct correlation with her extraordinary success in the marketplace which placed her at an exceed performance year over year. Understandingly, she is usually able to occupy the Top Performer seat within the corporate district in which she leads. She believes in operating in a high performance culture/environment, ensuring that there are continuous improvements realized within her sphere of influence. Pauline believes that her success is measured not by her personal accomplishments but by the success and growth of others she embraces or come in contact with. These principles she inherited from her mother.
One needs to understand that it took Pauline over a decade, through a series of jobs within corporate Canada, spanning from Data Communication specialist to Data Communications Manager, with responsibilities stretching across 3 sites in Toronto which soon included Data Communications Call Centre in Ottawa, which qualifies her for a Regional Manager/Director’s position at that time, however, was not the case. Eventually, her effective leadership style, passion for excellence in people and results elevated Pauline to the top percentile amongst her peers in her District, at her yearly performance appraisals. Pauline has received numerous rewards and acknowledgement for Outstanding Performance in leadership, which helped her acquire her appointment as Associate Director in the company, in a relative short turn around, but not without struggles. She thought this compensated for the over 10 years it took them to move her into the ranks of management even though very qualified.
Pauline is the CEO/President of Best Lifestyle Residence Incorporated – a 40 bed retirement home in the county of Simcoe, 15 minutes north of Barrie. Pauline is the first Black female retirement home owner in the county of Simcoe. The birth of this business came about out of a dark crossroad in her family’s life. It was a time when her husband became critically ill and was given up by some doctors to die as the prognosis of his illness could not be ascertained. He was hospitalized for 2 months and was sent home incapacitated. Now, Pauline was faced with an over 80 year old mother to care for, a husband who could not help himself and 2 students in University.
Understand the excruciating and screeching sounds of life’s tire coming to a halt, Pauline approached her boss for flexibility of work hours and was offered to work 2 days from home until things got better. Unfortunately, a couple months after, her boss got changed and her new boss advised Pauline that the demands of her job required her to be physically at the office 5 days a week so she should take on a lower level management position so she could take care of her situation at home. Pauline refused the offer as she realized that it was a trap for a setback, to remove the black female representation at that level in the organization. Soon than later, Pauline who had over 20years in the organization with no day absent or sick for the duration, was advised that she had to move to another job further from home as the district was going through a reorg. With the appropriate and costly support structure in place at home, Pauline answered to the Call with no resistance as she was now the only breadwinner in her family and considered this as another setup, if she refused.
It was really difficult to arrive at a balance with all the demands of family and the job, in addition to the church and community commitments, which she did not turn her back on.
Shortly after the transfer, one of her mentors within the company realized what was taking place and recommended her for a job opportunity, which after a phone interview she was offered an increase of $10K on the spot and another $5K increase after 3mths on the job. This was definitely a blessing as with this new position she was now able to work from her home office as the managers who reported to her were all residing outside of Toronto. This is one of the many and less unscrupulous experiences, that was brought to bear within the walls and cubicles of her corporate Canada experience.
Providentially, corporate Canada not being sensitized to her husband’s illness and her overall personal circumstances was a wakeup call for her. It afforded her the chance to explore new financial opportunities to take care of her family, even though according to socio-economic indicators, she had a fine paying job. With now a new drive for economic empowerment, since her husband may never able to work again, Pauline along with her children, D’Juvayne and Harolyn were spending sleepless nights researching different business opportunities to maintain family’s lifestyle. This brought them to where they are today, the incorporation of Best Lifestyle Residence Inc. Best lifestyle is considered one of the top 5 of 17 Health Care facilities of that type in the county of Simcoe, that provides above standard and comprehensive care. Best Lifestyle Residence takes pride in giving respect, providing quality of life and long-term care for seniors as well as younger individuals with special needs, including development disabilities, mental health and addiction challenges. Christian claims the success of the business is due to love for humanity, especially elderly and youth as well as the fact that she views it as a ministry.
As of November 2008, Pauline no longer works for corporate Canada, however, she has transitioned her corporate efforts into building and advancing her vision at Best Lifestyle Residence Inc. Presently she partners with her husband, who has now fully recovered from his illness, her daughter who is responsible for Operations and 12 staff in their quest to transform health care to meet the needs of residents in Simcoe County, in a meaningful way.
After leaving the corporate world, within less than 2 months of focusing on increasing the revenue stream for her business, she was able to generate enough revenues to replace her income from corporate Canada. This proves that we have it within us to do/be anything that we want to do/be as long as we have the desire, the passion, the drive, understanding of the key fundamentals of the business, the ability to engage the right people, a sense of reciprocity and corporate responsibility as well as the ability to execute with purpose. Today, Pauline runs a very successful Health Care facility in the county of Simcoe and is known for the ability to increase the lifespan of residents in critical care at her facility. Doctors normally ask, how do they do it. Patients who were sent to Best Lifestyle Residence for a short mortal stay are still there years after their medical life forecast.